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    Batavia's Graveyard (Paperback) By (author) Mike Dash

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    DescriptionWhen the Dutch East Indiaman Batavia struck an uncharted reef off the new continent of Australia on her maiden voyage in 1629, 332 men, women and children were on board. While some headed off in a lifeboat to seek help, 250 of the survivors ended up on a tiny coral island less than half a mile long. A band of mutineers, whose motives were almost beyond comprehension, then started on a cold-blooded killing spree, leaving fewer than 80 people alive when the rescue boat arrived three months later. BATAVIA'S GRAVEYARD tells this strange story as a gripping narrative structured around three strong principal characters: Francisco Pelsaert, the cultivated but weak-willed captain; Jeronimus Cornelisz, a sinister apothecary with a terrifying personal philosophy influenced by Rosicrucianism who set himself up as the ruler of the island; and Wiebbe Hayes, the only survivor with the courage to fight Jeronimus's band. The background to these events, including the story of the Dutch East India Company, and the discovery of Australia, is richly drawn.


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  • Full bibliographic data for Batavia's Graveyard

    Title
    Batavia's Graveyard
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Mike Dash
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 416
    Width: 128 mm
    Height: 198 mm
    Thickness: 34 mm
    Weight: 299 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780753816844
    ISBN 10: 0753816849
    Classifications

    BIC subject category V2: HBG, HBLH, HBTM
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.4
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1MBF
    BIC time period qualifier V2: 3JD
    BIC E4L: HIS
    LC subject heading:
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 14380
    BIC subject category V2: JWXT
    DC21: 910.452
    LC classification: G530
    BIC subject category V2: 3JD, 1MBF
    BISAC V2.8: TRU004000
    LC subject heading: ,
    Thema V1.0: NHB, NHTM, JWXT
    Thema time period qualifier V1.0: 3M, 3MG
    Thema geographical qualifier V1.0: 1MBF
    Illustrations note
    3 maps
    Publisher
    Orion Publishing Co
    Imprint name
    Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
    Publication date
    03 April 2003
    Publication City/Country
    London
    Author Information
    Mike Dash read history at Cambridge and received his PhD from the University of London. Having worked for the Fortean Times and The Ministry of Sound, he is now setting up his own company.
    Review quote
    Good reviews are now coming in for this wonderful narrative: "Dash evokes the Dutch East Indiamen's institutional avarice and brutality particularly well, along with the cheapness of life on voyages lasting several years, and the type of person they subsequently attracted... Dash's version of their hair-raising tale sensibly eschews hysterical romanticism in favour of a springy, understated narrative that lets the horror speak for itself... Awfully good butnot for the fainthearted."SUNDAY TIMES "The details are gruesome but the stor
    Review text
    In 1628 a fleet of ships owned by the Dutch East India Company set sail for Java. Among their number was the Batavia, a large new ship laden with gold, silver and gems. Ostensibly she was under the command of an experienced merchant named Francisco Pelsaert; she also carried an under-merchant, the untried, untested Jeronimus Cornelisz. Unfortunately this man was not only a disgraced bankrupt - he was a heretic and troublemaker. Cornelisz was already fermenting mutiny within a group of discontented sailors when disaster struck the Batavia. In the early hours of June 4 - after 211 days at sea - the ship impaled itself on a barely submerged coral reef at the edge of an unexplored archipelago off the west coast of Australia. Amidst appalling storms, over 200 survivors were transferred to the relative safety of the islands and there they remained, while Pelsaert took the only boat and headed for Java. Left alone, with little chance of rescue, dwindling food sources and almost no water supplies, the survivors were in chaos. It was a situation that Cornelisz was happy to take advantage of and, with the help of an elite group of loyal supporters, he seized control. So began a killing spree that led to the bloody murder of most of the Batavia survivors. Painstakingly researched and told in compelling detail, this is the true story of what happened. Mike Dash is convinced that, aside from being a heretic and a mutineer, Cornelisz was also a psychopath. Away from the moral and legal constraints of an organized society he allowed his bloodlust to take control. This is a truly horrifying and gripping account that grabs the reader's attention from the very first sentence and keeps it right to the end. (Kirkus UK)